Sunday, March 23, 2014

Music Everywhere!

Music Everywhere!
written by Maya Ajmera, Elise Hofer Derstine, Cynthia Pon
2014 (Charlesbridge)
Source: Review copy provided by the publisher

Check out Nonfiction Monday for more reviews of nonfiction books.

Music Everywhere! is a photographic collection that illustrates the axiom that music is a universal language. Children across the globe are featured using instruments, singing, or simply clapping to make joyful noises. A boy wears traditional clothing in Mexico and sings about his heritage. Next to his picture is another young man chanting in a Coptic choir in Egypt. Across the page is another smiling group of children in Japan who are singing a song they wrote. A different two page spread reveals young people playing instruments of all kinds. Whether it be the dungchen long horns of Bhutan, moon lutes in China, or a tiny bagpiper in Scotland, children enjoy playing music as well as singing it. What if you don't know how to play an instrument? You can still shake maracas in Belgium, tap on chairs in Togo, or bang on pots and pans in America. I think one of the big ideas in this book is that you don't have to be a musical genius to enjoy and play music. All it takes is a desire to feel the rhythm and you will find something to help you make some noise.

If you don't have an instrument, the authors will help you make one. In the back of the book, you will find directions for making a bean tambourine, a rattle, and a glass harp. Also in the back matter is a colorful world map that shows each country featured in the book and a thorough glossary that defines many instruments and styles of music. 

This would be a great book to use with a circle map. I would ask students to list different musical instruments that they know and then list ones that are contained in the book. Students can recall the variety of instruments located in their music room as well. You could probably find digital samples of some of the music featured in this book. For example, I looked on You Tube and found a performance by a Coptic choir. Older students could create a text called Games Everywhere. They would research games played in different countries and write and illustrate a book with this information. Looking at the photographs above, you could also use this book to teach main idea and supporting details. 

Read Music Everywhere! and celebrate making music. 


  1. The photographs are lovely. Great ideas to extend the book!

  2. I agree the pictures are really super. A visual introduction to musical instruments and with the back page activities is perfect for summer too. Thanks for sharing.. am off to find this one at the library.
    -Reshama @Stackingbooks


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